Photography was not something I was interested in at all as a kid. I got my first digital camera from my Grandma when I was about 10 years old. It was a Fuji-film with 2 megapixels, AA batteries, and built-in lens cap. I loved it, but I didn’t take it very seriously.
I chose for the most part to just review photos on my parent’s home tv using the AV cable. The images from that camera never got printed and thus no longer exist. The novelty has worn away and so have the memories I had captured with it.
Today, still shooting with a Fuji camera, I have made major leaps and bounds on creating images that will last. To begin, I create backups of the digital files to ensure data security. More importantly, I print my best photos so that I can enjoy them on a more permanent and physical medium than digital can provide.
In this process of learning how to print I have learned about the added value a print can have. Many complain that a print is not as vibrant as it looks on a screen, but this is typically because there is something missing from a print. Prints are not lit naturally from a light source. You need to shine track lighting to get the most. I have also learned tricks around this fault without compromising!
I print most of my images on a matte paper or metal in order to control the light without dedicated print lighting while on display. This is not to say they are not brilliant and beautiful though as most people think of matte prints. I have specifically chosen Hahnemuehle papers to keep the best traits of a matte paper and glossy simultaneously. It has color reproduction that is unrivaled while also having incredible detail and light control at the same time. I cannot rave enough about how beautiful images look printed on it!
I also print on acrylics and metals that are more glossy which pop off walls when properly lit on a dedicated track system. They absorb and interact with the ambient and dedicated light in a special way only fully appreciated in-person. You cannot achieve this level of intimacy with photography without seeing images printed large on a wall especially when the lighting is fine-tuned properly!
Sure, the image you fell in love with on a screen is wonderful. I felt the same way as a kid looking at the tv screen. The connection was lost though as the CRT TV tubes faded away into darkness lost in the static. Printed images stay on the wall and years later I will be able to see it as I saw it when first captured. There is no fading in vibrancy or haziness in detail. The truest version of my vision as an artist embodied in physical form. That is why I love printing because it is the final form of a real image from vision to reality.